Higher Horizons Head Start, a private, non-profit organization established in 1963, is a delegate agency of the Fairfax Office for Children. In December 2009, Higher Horizons Day Care Center became a grantee for Early Head Start and was awarded funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The agency serves 300 low-income children and families in the Bailey’s Crossroads and Falls Church communities of Fairfax County, Virginia in a fully integrated system of services. Higher Horizons is licensed by the Virginia State Department of Social Services.

We serve expectant parents, infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families. We have highly qualified, caring staff members who receive on-going training and education. Higher Horizons believes parent and community involvement are the key elements needed to build a quality early childhood program. We are committed to delivering services with pride and excellence.

Higher Horizons suspended onsite services for Head Start and Early Head Start children at the Bailey’s and 7 Corners locations on March 13, 2020.  Governor Ralph Northam on 3/13/2020 ordered all K-12 schools in Virginia to close for a minimum of two weeks in response to the continued spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Schools closed from Monday, March 16,2020 through the end of the school year as the state ordered a ‘stay at home order’ for all residents in the state of Virginia.  Head Start programs were guided by the Office of Head Start to the extent possible, to support ongoing services to enrolled Head Start children and families.   Head Start guided all programs to support Head Start staff by continuing to pay them is a critical factor in mitigating the fiscal crisis, recognizing their valuable work and ensuring that staff are in place when services resume.  Higher Horizons will continue to provide remote services until a determination can be made to re-open center-based services.  Higher Horizons staff will work closely with the Virginia Fairfax County Health Department to analyze the decrease of coronavirus rates in the Bailey’s and 7 Corners communities.  Our goal is to ensure that children, families, and staff are safe during the pandemic.  Listed below are ongoing  activities that occur during the remote service delivery period:

  • Head Start children continue to receive weekly contacts and distance learning from teachers and family advocates for center-based staff. Fairfax County Public Schools mailed all preschool children learning packets through the end of the school year
  • Home based families receive weekly contact by home visitors
  • All families receive daily or as necessary updates regarding food distribution sites and other resources
  • All families receive daily or as needed response for services (mental health services medical, and all other social service referrals needed)
  • A resource listing was emailed to all parents on 3/16/2020 including a wide  range of resources for at home learning (Ready Rosie, Scholastic and information from the Center for Disease Control website “Helping Children Cope”)
  • Information will be posted on Face Book and the “blast out” communications system
  • All children received “Back packs of educational supplies, these packages support school readiness efforts
  • Two successful diaper and food distributions were coordinated for Head Start and Early Head Start families
  • Staff are working remotely and are tracking service delivery; a weekly conference calls with the managers will be implemented
  • Non classroom staff are working remotely on projects and deliverables as identified via the management team i.e., policies and procedures, desk manuals, and OHS webinars.

Mary Ann Cornish
Executive Director